Australia v West Indies, 1st Test, Brisbane, 1st day November 26, 2009

Teams pleased with review system

Shane Watson didn't use it when his team-mates thought he should have. The West Indies tried it once with Ricky Ponting and failed. They could have had another go but didn't bother. Still, both sides were content with the opening day of the ICC's new umpire review system in Australia that offers increased technology in an attempt to eliminate the awful decisions.

Ponting was the only batsman under the extra spotlight when West Indies thought Ian Gould might have been incorrect with an lbw decision. Ravi Rampaul angled a ball in to Ponting on 30 and the original decision stood after the third umpire viewed the replays. Hawk-Eye showed the ball clipping the top of the bails, but in situations of doubt - where the centre of the ball is not within an imaginary rectangle inside the stumps - the choice remains with the on-field official.

"Perhaps they should have that box there rather than the full stumps and it probably would have shown the ball would have gone over the stumps," Michael Hussey said of the Ponting decision. "I guess it's a little bit confusing at the moment for some players. I think they got them all right today and I think that's what we want, the most correct decisions in the game."

The Australians don't have a set procedure on how to employ the ration of two unsuccessful appeals an innings, but Hussey said the top order did have priority. "It's more how you feel, or you have a quick chat with your mate at the other end," Hussey said. "There's no point having them left at the end so we might as well use them."

West Indies had another chance to try the system when Kemar Roach appealed for Ponting's lbw on 53. It wasn't a safety-first approach that stopped them risking their final review - they just didn't think it was definitely out.

"It was a touch-and-go situation," Roach said. "We didn't decide to go to the referrals. As a bowler you ask the keeper because he's in line with the stumps and then you go onto the captain, who makes the decision."

The ICC's Dave Richardson hopes one of the side effects of the process is an increase in walking and an improvement in the spirit of the game. Watson wasn't exactly following that process when he decided against asking for a review on principle after being given out lbw in the third over. The ball hit him outside off and there was a slight doubt about height, but Watson wasn't concerned simply because he hadn't offered a shot.

Hussey thought Watson should have had a go at the review. "Definitely," he said. "But he was adamant, you gotta use your bat and I should have hit it."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo